Prin­ci­pal urges ac­tion on cuts

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STE­WART

Changes to staff fund­ing re­vealed in the bud­get could see Mata­mata In­ter­me­di­ate School lose up to five teach­ers.

The school re­ceives staffing for tech­nol­ogy spe­cial­ist teach­ers – used for mu­sic, art, pro­duc­tion, food, and ma­te­ri­als tech­nol­ogy – from the start of next year and this staffing al­lo­ca­tion would be re­moved. Prin­ci­pal Mar­ion Hen­rik­sen said there was no con­sul­ta­tion from the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion re­gard­ing the staffing cuts.

‘‘The first I, or any other in­ter­me­di­ate prin­ci­pals, knew of this was af­ter the bud­get an­nounce­ment,’’ Ms Hen­rik­sen said.

It is not known how many teach­ers around the coun­try would be af­fected but the Post Pri­mary Teach­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion has cal­cu­lated up to 1122 pri­mary and in­ter­me­di­ate school teach­ers would lose their jobs.

‘‘It is hard to be­lieve that on the one hand there are in­creased de­mands to raise achieve­ments in read­ing, writ­ing and maths and yet, on the other hand, class sizes are in­creased and ad­di­tional learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties that so ef­fec­tively sup­port achieve­ment, are slashed,’’ said Ms Hen­rik­sen.

‘‘We will be forced into choices at Mata­mata In­ter­me­di­ate in re­gards to our pri­or­ity ar­eas for teach­ers.’’

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Hekia Parata said the ex­tra tech­nol­ogy fund­ing for year 7 and 8 stu­dents was an ‘‘his­tor­i­cal anom­aly’’ and would be re-al­lo­cated to ben­e­fit all stu­dents from years 2 to 10.

The fund­ing for­mula was now more con­sis­tent, she said.

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion has since said it would be more diffi- cult for some in­ter­me­di­ate schools to ab­sorb the changes and a work­ing party would be set up to look at the ef­fect.

Ms Hen­rik­sen has voiced her con­cerns to MP Lind­say Tisch and is ap­peal­ing to par­ents to ‘‘make their feel­ings known’’ to the MP and to Prime Min­is­ter John Key.

‘‘ If this is not over­turned quickly then I be­lieve in­ter­me­di­ate school­ing as we know it will be lost for­ever,’’ she said.

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